Seeking authors to take up residence at UTS

Louis Nowra and Mandy Sayer. Photo: Wade Laube

Louis Nowra and Mandy Sayer. Photo: Wade Laube

In summary: 
  • The UTS New Writers Program is funded by an $80,000 grant from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund for two authors who have publisher interest in their next projects
  • The successful fiction or non-fiction writers will be resident in 2016 or 2017 and will follow in the footsteps of Mandy Sayer, Louis Nowra and Leah Purcell, among others

Wanted: professional writer able to juggle personal creative project with aspirations of young UTS students. Would suit mid-career fiction or non-fiction author with another book on the go.

The successful applicant will receive a salary of $40,000 for 12 months; conditions are a mixed bag of material support – office, computer and printer, for example – and less tangible benefits – no excuses for procrastination, a “home” for a year and unprecedented professional contacts.

The UTS New Writers Program is funded by an $80,000 grant from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, and will create jobs for two authors who have publisher interest in their next projects. Commencing in the spring semesters of 2016 and 2017, each position will run for one year.

“We’re after professional writers who are out in the real world. They’ve got to be working on a project and already have one to two books published in the past five years,” says John Dale, Professor of Writing at UTS.

“From a writer’s point of view, it’s a fantastic job. It connects them to the largest – and in my view the best – writing program in the country.

“For postgraduate students, there is the opportunity to see that it is possible to make a career out of writing – it’s hard, of course, but it does happen.”

Professor Dale says the program highlights the importance of connection to industry and professional practice for students at UTS.

“For authors it’s often not the first book that’s the hardest but the subsequent books. They may have a pitiful advance, if any advance at all, and though there’s been some critical success there is no financial success,” says Professor Dale.

“This program is about giving authors the financial breathing space to concentrate on a major piece of work.”

The writers-in-residence are expected to spend two days a week with students and the remainder working on their own project. They must also deliver a lecture on their work or genre.

The successful applicants will follow in illustrious footsteps. Previous UTS non-fiction writers in residence include Leah Purcell in 2013, who used her time to work on the Redfern Now series for ABC TV as well as other scripts for stage and screen; and Mandy Sayer in 2014, who researched her history of gypsies in Australia. Poet Robert Adamson was the Copyright Agency’s chair of poetry at UTS from 2012 to 2014. Previous participants also include poet Les Murray and authors Louis Nowra and Frank Moorhouse.

For further information, contact John.Dale@uts.edu.au

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